Tigers spoil Hynoski’s return
CATAWISSA – First year coach of the Shamokin Indians, Henry Hynoiski, has plenty of fond memories of his days at Tiger Stadium, but Friday night was different. This time the head coach was staring at legendary Southern Columbia coach Jim Roth from the opposing sidelines.
“Of course it’s very nostalgic,” said Hynoski. “When you get in the game you have to put all that stuff to the side. It was disappointing to lose in the fashion we did, but that’s a tremendous football team.”
The homecoming of sorts was a bit unpleasant however, as the visiting Shamokin Indians struggled to find an offensive groove as the team fell to host Southern Columbia 48-0 on the turf at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers outgained the Indians on offense by a tally of 419 yards to just 31. Southern gained 246 yards on the ground while quarterback Stone Hollenbach accounted for 173 yards through the air on just four completions.
Three of Hollenbach’s four completions went for touchdowns.
The game began with Shamokin’s kickoff team attempting to slip a trick play past the Tigers on a reverse play that was smothered by the Southern Columbia special teams.
Shamokin started the opening drive on its own 12-yard line and the team’s starting field position didn’t get much better as the night went on. On 12 offensive drives in the game, the Indians started inside their own 20-yard line on six occasions. Shamokin’s best starting field position in the game came at the team’s own 37-yard line after recovering a Southern Columbia fumble.
“Our kickoff team is the area of our team that has played as well as any unit,” Coach Jim Roth said. “Between (senior kicker Ethan Dunkleberger) putting the ball in the back corner every time, and the kids we have on there and the way they’re getting down the field every time and the way they’re getting by blockers. We’re making teams start inside their own 20 and every time you start inside your own 20, it’s a long haul to score.”
Southern Columbia forced a three-and-out to begin the game but produced a three-and-out of its own on the offenses opening drive. Southern went on to score on its next six drives to close the opening half before returning the opening kickoff of the second half for its last touchdown of the night.
On the Tigers’ second possession it didn’t take long for the team to find pay dirt. After starting in plus territory at the Shamokin 19, freshman tailback Gavin Garcia toted the ball twice. His first carry went 17 yards putting the Tigers at the Shamokin 2-yard line. Garcia punched the ball in from there on his next carry to put the Tigers on the board.
“Even though he only had a couple touches tonight, I can see now that he’s just starting to get more and more comfortable,” Roth said of his freshman phenom. “He’s seeing the field and doing great things. He’s going to be a handful for people.”
On the Tigers’ next two drive, junior receiver Julian Fleming got the opportunity to show off his skillset to the home crowd, which included Penn State coach James Franklin.
On back-to-back drives Fleming hauled in catches on a pair of quick slants and used his incredible speed to score from 71 and 66 yards respectively.
“We took it like every other regular game,” Fleming said. “We came out with our heads on our shoulders just looking to dominate. Once we put the pedal down we never stop.”
With the Tigers up 20-0 in the first quarter it was time for the older of the Garcia brothers to extend the Southern lead. Gaige Garcia scored from 36 yards out on a screen pass from Hollenbach on the second play of the second quarter.
Garcia also accounted for a rushing touchdown later in the game as well as a kickoff return touchdown to open the second half.
Garcia led the team in rushing on the night, carrying the ball seven times for 104 yards and a score. Fleming led in receiving yards, hauling in three passes for 137 yards and a pair of scores. Hollenbach threw for 173 yards and three scores.
The Southern Columbia defense also stepped up to the occasion Friday night, limiting the Shamokin offense to just 31 total yards. None of those yards came through the air, as the Southern Columbia secondary did not allow a single pass to be completed.
“We just couldn’t move the ball,” Hynoski said. “We had opportunities but you gotta get some first downs to get the momentum going. We got ourselves deep in a hole early and couldn’t get out tonight.”
Shamokin converted one first down in the opening half, which came on a 15-yard personal foul penalty on the Southern Columbia defense on a 3rddown and six.
Shamokin’s offense was led by starting tailback Bryson James who toted the ball 13 times for 27 yards. Freshman Aaron Frasch also supplied some big yardage for the Indians in the second half, carrying the ball four times for 22 yards.
“This is a tremendous football team with tremendous talent that we went against tonight,” Coach Hynoski said. “I believe our guys are better than what showed tonight.”
The Southern Columbia Tigers improved to 4-0 overall and take on Central Columbia (3-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in Almedia.
Shamokin fell to 2-2 overall with the loss and takes on Lewisburg (3-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in Shamokin.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Shamokin 0 0 0 0 — 0
Southern 20 21 7 0 — 48
SC—Gavin Garcia 2-yard run (PAT No Good), 7:21.
SC—Julian Fleming 71-yard reception from Stone Hollenbach (Ethan Dunkleberger PAT Good), 4:32
SC—Fleming 66-yard reception from Hollenbach (Dunkleberger PAT Good), 1:41
SC—Gaige Garcia 36-yard reception from Hollenbach (Dunkleberger PAT Good), 11:32.
SC—Gavin Garcia 12-yard run (Dunkleberger PAT Good), 9:14
SC—Gaige Garcia 86-yard run (Dunkleberger PAT Good), 4:35
SC—Gaige Garcia 85-yard Kickoff Return (Dunkleberger PAT Good), 11:47.
L—Max Moyers 2-yard run (Dieffenderfer PAT Good), 1:45.
TEAM STATISTICS S SC
First downs 5 7
Total yards 31 419
Rushes-yards 43-31 32-246
Yards passing 0 173
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 0-6-0 4-6-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-2
Penalties-yards 2-20 6-65
RUSHING—Shamokin: Bryson James 13-27, Aaron Frasch 4-22, Mark Wetel 8-14, Wolfgang Pearson 8-14, Nate Grimes 1-9, Max Madden 4-0, TEAM 1-(-8), Collin Bower 7-(-36). Southern Columbia: Gaige Garcia 7-104 TD, Gavin Garcia 4-33 2TD, Jayden McCormick 4-33, Braden Heim 7-32, Brandon Gedman 5-26, Ty Roadarmel 4-25, TEAM 1-(-7).
PASSING—Shamokin: Bowers 0-6. Southern Columbia: Hollenbach 4-6 173 yds, 3TD.
RECEIVING—Southern Columbia: Fleming 3-137 2TD, Gaige Garcia 1-36 TD.
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